South Wales Police Case Study

South Wales Police Win Gold Award at 2018 Step Two Intranet & Digital Workplace Global Awards

South Wales Police have won Gold in the 2018 Step Two Intranet & Digital Workplace Awards. Now in their twelfth year, these are global awards that recognise outstanding contributions to the fields of intranets and digital workplaces.

“We are delighted to win Gold with Step Two, it’s great that BOB, our Engage intranet is being globally recognised. BOB has transformed the way we work at SWP and we are excited to be able to share our journey” – Nick Allport, Lead Developer

“We are all thrilled that BOB has been recognised globally for the brilliant intranet that it is. The team at South Wales Police and SORCE developed an exceptional intranet, made possible with our Engage intranet software. BOB has just turned 1, so I look forward to seeing just how BOB grows over the coming years” – John Nicklin, Managing Director at SORCE

“In an organisation as diverse as ours, it’s vital that we reach our officers and staff quickly, easily and creatively. This is why our intranet BOB is such an important communication and engagement tool.

During the first 12 months after launch we had over 10 million hits, and on average had 800 users online every hour.

We work to publish information that is relevant, informative and timely. I want our officers and staff to be able to learn, discuss and engage with each over in South Wales Police.

I look forward to BOB getting better and better each year and I am delighted that we won a Gold Award in the 2018 Step Two Intranet & Digital Workplace Awards in the ‘Intranet essentials’ category” – Richard Lewis, Deputy Chief Constable

Engage intranet plays major part in digital transformation at South Wales Police

The Mission

To implement a new intranet that will replace an existing site that is no longer fit for purpose. The new intranet will enable more interactivity, increase employee engagement and facilitate the organisation’s move to remote and mobile working. It must be well structured, simple to use, with outstanding search capabilities and be easy to navigate.

As well as supporting corporate communication requirements, the intranet should enable the South Wales Police Digital Services team to deliver more business processes online.

The Solution

The new Engage Intranet at South Wales Police was launched as part of a force wide programme of digital transformation. The site is called ‘Bob’, after Sir Robert Peel who founded the Police Force.

“Our new intranet Bob, sits very firmly within Digital Services, a team which is purely customer focused and led. Our vision is to transform policing through digital technology”.

– Darren Phillips, Transformation Manager

Bob, which won the SORCE award for ‘Best intranet of the year’ is an exciting site that is feature rich, engaging and dynamic.

Bob is used by over 5,000 people at South Wales Police, of which over 300 are regularly adding content to the site. Heavy use of group targeting ensures that users only see content that is relevant to them, based upon their assigned roles.

“We are up to nearly 500 groups that we actively target. We proactively push out information to people based upon the roles they are assigned to. All our contact information comes directly from our HR system, it self-populates four times a day ensuring information is always up to date. SORCE have been extremely supportive of us pulling information from external systems and allowing us to extend the Engage product which has been great”.

– Darren Phillips, Transformation Manager

South Wales Police have an extensive programme of work based around digitizing paper forms for self-service. They have built, 60 to 70 forms, all of which have workflow behind them. They are all searchable from within the intranet.

Contact searching is hugely powerful for South Wales Police due to the size and complexity of their workforce.  Their contact searches have been enhanced to enable users to run searches for roles such as ‘Cardiff Officer’ which then returns all Police Officers from the Cardiff stations.

“Searching for teams has proven really useful, users can search for the ‘ICT Helpdesk’ and be presented with all the appropriate contact details. We’ve tweaked the search quite a bit to suit our needs to give us what we now consider very accurate results”.

– Nick Allport, Lead Developer

Quicklinks are a great way of enabling users to link off to useful systems and resources quickly and easily, there are 150 for people to choose from. Quicklinks are a simple but highly effective way of saving time and increasing efficiency.

Microblogging is a powerful tool for engagement at South Wales Police. People are posting lots of updates on the home page of Bob for both business and social purposes. Colleagues can comment on and ‘like’ posts which is great for employee engagement.

“Microblogs work really well for us. We’ve seen increased employee engagement since we’ve been using them. We found straight away that people were helping each other to find the answers to questions, sharing thoughts and discussing ideas”.

– Nick Allport, Lead Developer

Video is being used extensively across Bob, the Chief Officers are getting involved and are adding video updates taken on their mobile phones to the site.

“We recently started doing live broadcasting on the intranet. We can do it from mobiles or cameras. The online screen broadcast is fantastic, the tool we use allows for real time texting or questions and answers. The whole organisation can watch a broadcast and give feedback”.

– Nick Allport, Lead Developer

South Wales Police are using the Engage development environment to create lots of page items which display content within the intranet from other South Wales Police data sources.  This has proven a great way to push information out to staff from disparate sources in an easy and consistent way.

“We make heavy use of the Engage development environment, I love page items. We integrate with a lot of back end systems and we use targeting extensively”.

– Nick Allport, Lead Developer

Bob is supporting force wide initiatives, such as the ‘100things100days’ initiative, which involves implementing 100 business improvements in 100 days.  A visual ‘Doneometer’ has been created, which shows the 100 improvement ideas, and shows progress against their implementation.

Team Spaces are used extensively, and created for collaborative groups, communities of practice and social clubs.

South Wales Police has chosen not to make the site fully multi-lingual but have instead created a ‘Welsh zone’ which holds content for Welsh speaking staff.

The Result

Bob is used to successfully share vital communications across a large and complex workforce. Bob plays a huge part in helping to manage key business processes and launch online forms. Bob has already helped the organisation transform the way it communicates, including the introduction of interactive collaborative areas and video communications for the first time.

“We are very proud of what we have achieved with Bob. We have developed some fantastic apps that have improved the working lives of everyone throughout the force.Bob is the only way we communicate, it is the life blood of the force.We are a 24/7 organisation and through the intranet we are able to support officers who are out in busy areas such as Cardiff city centre doing a difficult job in the early hours of the morning. The benefits are quite impactive. We look forward to bringing all that together with Gwent Police, making sure that the achievements at one police force are replicated at another.”

– Darren Phillips, Transformation Manager



Client: South Wales Police
Employees: 5,200
Location: Wales
Industry: Police

Client profile

South Wales Police is the largest police force in Wales and although geographically small, covering around 812 square miles and equating to just 10% of the geographical area of Wales, South Wales Police provides a policing service to 1.3 million people (42% of the country’s population).

South Wales is a diverse region, boasting urban, rural and coastal areas and featuring the two largest cities in Wales – Swansea and the capital city, Cardiff. The force also serves 63 of the 100 most deprived communities in Wales.

The force has almost 3000 police officers and over 2200 police staff, including Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and a team of dedicated volunteers that includes over 100 Special Constables and around 150 Police Youth Volunteers.

South Wales Police SORCE Intranet Software

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